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A Guide to The Must-See Cities in Malta

By October 31, 2020 November 22nd, 2021 No Comments

Malta is a stunning archipelago with many must-see cities to visit. This country has a great deal to offer. Perfect to any kind of person, from historians to romantics.

Read below to gain valuable insight about the top must-see cities in Malta.

Valletta

In 1566, Valletta was born and became the Capital City of Malta. It’s unique structure makes it’s a must-see place in Malta.

Built-in a grid layout by the Knights and La Vallette, the city is simply stunning. Built on a peninsula of 1km by 600m between two natural harbours. Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour.

Its commercial and administrative buildings doesn’t ruin any sight. Some historic buildings are also occupied by government departments. Through the years many companies looked to open an office in this city.

Being small in size, its Architecture shines throughout the designs and that was recognised by UNESCO. It’s historical and cultural value made it hard to ignore. It was described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’.

However, That does not mean the place is swarming with tourists.

Although tour groups are not an uncommon sight, particularly during the summer months.

Regardless, visiting any country’s capital is always a treat, and Valletta is no exception, especially during your holiday in Malta.

Mdina

Mdina is the country’s treasure.

Resting on a spectacularly high viewpoint looking out over the island of Malta is the ancient city of Mdina.

This stunning ancient city sits on a hilltop and has panoramic views across the island from all directions. 

Built on a plateau it makes it one of the highest places in Malta.

Mdina was the original capital city before Valletta was built and proclaimed. In fact, From its inception up until medieval times, Mdina was the capital city of Malta. It was built by the Phoenicians as part of a settlement.

The Knights of Malta when governing, they built its stunning grandiose Baroque gate in 1724.

Today, the majority of the luxurious residences of Mdina have been passed down through the generations. 

Approximately 243 people live within the walls encompassing an area of around 0.9 square kilometres. 

Architecture

Mdina’s architecture is hard to miss. From the point of being on the way to the city, you can see it shining especially during the night. It will steal your heart.

The main entrance to Mdina, known as Mdina Gate or Vilhena Gate, is the first spectacular example of what to find beyond it. Charles Francois de Mondion designed Mdina in it’s boutique style.

Walking through the streets of Mdina, the architecture one will find is truly a once in a lifetime experience on one’s holiday in Malta.

The narrow, dimly lit pathways of Mdina have hidden doorways embedded in tall walls that lead to properties with vast interiors.

In fact, these are massive Norman and baroque homes and palaces, some of which have 20 rooms or more. 

Inhabited in the past by noble families, many of these residences have been passed down through the generations and are still associated with the wealthier people.

In these houses, you can find balconies made with flowers and ivy. Doors painted and decorated of vibrant colours together with unique brass knockers.

As lunch hour approaches, the enticing aroma of freshly cooked food fills the air and makes its way through the narrow streets.

In Mdina one won’t find a lot of cars because it’s limited. This is to transport you back in time.

Sliema

Sliema originally started out as a tiny fishing village but developed into a small city during the eighteenth, and up until the twentieth century, which was brought about by the many wealthy British settlers who settled there, looking for a quiet refuge, yet being close to the then commercial hub of Valletta.

It is now home to thousands of residents and it is safe to say that it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malta.

Over the past 50 years or so, this city and the surrounding areas underwent another massive transformation.

That is, there was a lot of commercial development which saw the beautiful stately properties of its past inhabitants replaced by large apartment buildings as well as modern offices.

However, regardless of this, Sliema still has a very distinct feel to it. 

The character that Sliema possesses isn’t anywhere else.

Sliema’s character

In fact, Sliema is a top tourist destination and is also a sought after residential area for local residents, with some of the most, if not the most expensive property available in the country.

One of its main stunning and unmissable features is its 10km promenade that runs along the northeastern coastline, It is a key commercial district. 

Its coastline extends into around three other cities, towards Ta’ Gżira, Xbiex and also St. Julian’s.

The neighbouring city of St. Julian’s, with its well-known nightlife area in very close proximity to Sliema, while Valletta is nearby as well (and easy to reach with a short fifteen-minute ferry trip across Marsamxett Harbour), offering lots of culture, history and places of interest to appreciate.

In fact, it acts as a wide walkway into these three cities and joins them together. Early in the morning, you will find lots of people out for a jog on this promenade

With the numerous bars and pubs situated there, Sliema is a very good choice for a holiday in Malta for couples and groups travelling together.

Mellieha

Mellieħa is a city located in the Northwest part of Malta, and it is a beautiful place to visit during your holiday in Malta. 

Mellieħa got its name from the ancient Punic and Roman languages and means salt. 

As you can see, in ancient times, names of places were often derived from food or raw materials which came from that particular location.

You will find this a common occurrence in the names of places on the Maltese islands.

In this case, it is very easy to figure out that given its closeness to the sea, this location was one of the regions in which salt was collected for use, from the salt pans which once existed at Mellieħa bay.

This city has a lovely character and picturesque scenes which is the reason why it tends to be considered as more of a summer resort area which is great to see during your holiday in Malta.

This unique city is situated on top of a hill, surrounded by numerous valleys which provide beautiful panoramas. It’s just a 5 to 10-minute drive away from Ċirkewwa, so you can easily hop on the ferries to Gozo and Comino.

The Mellieha area is most well-known for its beautiful beaches.

In fact, it has some of the most beautiful and popular beaches which are worth a visit during your holiday in Malta.

Others include Golden Bay, Ghadira Bay and Mellieha Bay.

Marsaxlokk

The small and picturesque fishing city of Marsaxlokk is located in the South Eastern part of the islands, and it is truly a great place to visit during your holiday in Malta.

Interestingly, the name Marsaxlokk comes from the word “Marsa” which means port and the word “Xlokk” which means south in Maltese.

This is the reason this city is so famous for its daily open-air market, as well as its big Sunday fish market offering a selection of the finest fish on the island which was caught that very morning.

It also stands out from the other places due to its numerous brightly painted boats decorated with their signature “eyes”  called Luzzus which would be wonderful to see during your holiday in Malta.

These line the sheltered harbour in a vivid colourful display that has been the subject of countless photoshoots.

This city has an ancient history which dates back to the ninth century BC. 

It was in this bay that the first Phoenicians arriving in Malta landed on the archipelago.

It was also here that the Turkish fleet anchored during the Great Siege in Malta.  

Marsaxlokk Bay remains a slice of authentic Maltese life, despite the encroachment of industry. Marsaxlokk is perfect for someone who is looking for a secluded city with its own beach.

This swimming location is a great place for diving, snorkelling and also cliff jumping down into the natural pool. The multitude of smooth, weathered limestone ledges also makes good sunbathing spots during your holiday in Malta.

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Malta provides a unique experience, fit for luxury and enjoyment. When looking to relax it’s important you have a hotel that gives a service hassle-free.

A great option during your holiday in Malta. Book now at 1926 hotel and spa

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